Assessing post-discharge costs of hepatopancreatic surgery: an evaluation of Medicare expenditure.
BACKGROUND:The true cost of liver and pancreatic surgery may not be completely ascertained by examining costs associated solely with the index hospitalization. We sought to assess post-discharge costs related to liver and pancreatic surgery after the index hospitalization. METHODS:We identified Medicare beneficiaries who underwent liver and pancreatic resection between 2013 and 2015. To assess post-discharge costs, costs were assessed for the following: all inpatient readmissions associated with an operative complication, follow-up outpatient visits with their operating surgeon, and use of skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and home health care within 90 days of discharge. RESULTS:Among the 21,737 patients who underwent either pancreatic or liver resection, the median cost of the index admission was $20,500 (interquartile range: $16,100-$34,300) (pancreas median: $22,100; interquartile range: $16,800-$36,500 vs liver median: $19,100; interquartile range: $15,100-$29,000). Approximately 30% (n = 6,435) had an all-cause readmission; more than half of readmissions (55.8%; n = 3,589) were related to an operative complication. Skilled nursing facilities and home health care services were utilized by 18.5% (n = 4,016) and 42.6% (n = 9,259) of patients, respectively. In total, nearly 75% of patients had additional, post-discharge hidden costs associated with their operative episode of care (n = 15,733: 72.4%). Male sex (95% confidence interval: 1.15-1.30) and black/African American race (95% confidence interval: 1.02-1.34) were associated with greater odds of post-discharge costs (both <0.05). CONCLUSION:Nearly 3 out of 4 patients who underwent a liver or pancreatic resection had post-discharge costs. Male and black/African American patients had greater odds of incurring post-discharge costs. As payers move to more bundled care payment models, strategies aimed at bending the cost curve associated with both the in-hospital, as well as the post-discharge setting, are needed.
Hyer, JM; Paredes, AZ; Cerullo, M; Tsilimigras, DI; White, S; Ejaz, A; Pawlik, TM
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